Branding for beginners

Do you know what branding really is? For many businesses, branding means little more than a company logo. However, branding is a complex issue that encompasses every element of your business. A well-designed logo, which is great for promoting visual identity, is only one part of the overall branding process.

Your brand

Every element of your business intertwines to form a brand – your products and services, your ethos, customer care, marketing and, last but not least, your logo. These factors come together to tell the story of your business and make it accessible.

Effective branding is consistent and evolves to meet changing market forces. This means your marketing content must be regularly refreshed to strengthen your brand and boost SEO. It should also be engaging, consistent and reflect the tone of your business.

Why branding is important

Good branding can help a business stand the test of time. It promotes awareness of your products and services by engaging your target market. If people can identify with your brand, you will gain credibility and consumer confidence. Branding sets your company and products apart from the competition and lets customers know what to expect from you and your products or services.

Effective branding encourages people to like and support your business, promotes customer loyalty and repeat business.

Creating a brand

Your brand starts at grassroots level – with your products and services. What are you good at? What are you known for? What tone of voice do you use? Use these strengths and differentiating factors to shape your brand vision.

Make sure that your customer gets a consistent experience at every touch point – from initial contact through ordering and delivery to post-purchase communications. This includes the quality of the customer service you provide. 73 per cent of people like a brand because of good customer service.*

Get to know your customers to build a successful brand. What do they want from your product? What problem are you solving for them? Evolve and improve your products, services and marketing to meet their expectations.

Communicate your brand

Marketing is the communication of your brand so it relies on the foundations of your business to be true to your brand vision otherwise it will be all hype with nothing to back it up. We’ve all had experiences where the reality didn’t live up to expectations, so make sure that your business is delivering on its promises before you actively promote your business.

Your logo, website content, and advertising are your shop window for the products you sell.

Did you know that the colours you choose to use in your logo can increase brand recognition by up to 80 per cent? It’s true – so the next time you have a new logo designed, use the colours your target market will most identify with for the greatest engagement rate.

Where you chose to advertise and communicate with customers will depend upon your target markets and strategy, but also your brand. The channels you choose are also a reflection of your brand values. You may want to include a presence on social media, however, make sure that the tone of voice aligns with your other communications to give consistency.

Getting help with branding

Building a recognisable, engaging identity starts with you, your products and your services. You can, however, develop your brand with effective SEO, copy-writing, logo design and many other things associated with marketing.

If you don’t have the expertise within your organisation to perform all of these tasks, it can be cost-effective to outsource. Freelancing is becoming more popular and people with the skills you need are available and waiting to help you further develop your brand. You may be surprised to discover how inexpensive outsourcing can be.

Now you know what branding really is – not just a logo – you will be in a better position to strengthen your brand and get ahead of competitors. After all, a company that offers consistency across all its products and services is what consumers want.

Branding examples

There are many great brands to choose from, but these have recently caught my eye:

Innocent Drinks

They stay true to their story. Check out the fun they have on social media.

Red Bull

Sponsoring extreme sports is in line with their adventurous brand values. In some cases they *literally* have wings!

Hello Fresh

Design and copywriting in synergy with their brand identity.

What does your brand say about you?

 

* Source: Big Brand System

Image: Kash Goudarzi

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Roisin Kirby is an experienced Marketing Consultant based in Nottingham (UK), with experience spanning a range of industries. Digital marketing and channel shift expert.

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